Materials for Garage Door Insulation

Saving money on the energy bill requires homeowners to do more than use appliances with high energy star ratings, to unplug electronics that are not in use, and keep their thermostats around 78 degrees in the summer and around 68 degrees in the winter. Saving on the energy bill requires homeowners to use insulation materials regulate air flow. Air needs to be regulated in all areas of the house, this includes garages. Insulating garage doors is the best way to regulate air flow in garages. When it comes to insulating garages, panels that are made of foam materials reign supreme.

Foam Insulation

There are four types of foam materials used to insulate garage doors. They come in rolled-up sheets that are encased in aluminum composite. One of these materials is called polyethylene. Polyethylene is a thermoplastic made from the polymerization of a hydrocarbon–a compound made of organic properties such as hydrogen and carbon–called ethylene, a colorless gas. What makes polyethylene a great insulation material is its resistance value of 3.8 to 4.3 per inch. This gives it the ability to resist the penetration of water, warm air in the summer, and cold air in the winter. Another material that has these abilities is called polystyrene.


Polystyrene has properties that are similar to those of polyethylene. Like its counterpart, it is a thermoplastic that is made of an organic compound. The organic compound that polystyrene is made of depends on its material. One of these materials is called expanded polystyrene. Expanded polystyrene, like polyethylene, is made of a hydrocarbon. This hydrocarbon is called styrene. Styrene–a colorless liquid– is a product of ethylene and another hydrocarbon called benzene, a colorless volatile liquid that is made from petroleum. Expanded polystyrene is composed of small interconnected cells that are filled with only air. Those of extruded polystyrene, the other material, are filled with air and refrigerant gas. Extruded polystyrene is made of chlorofluorocarbon, a compound that is composed of properties such as chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. These polystyrene materials have resistance values that are close to or above the 4.0 per inch mark. The third thermoplastic material that is used for insulation is called polyisocyanurate.


Polyisocyanurate has organic properties similar to those of the fourth insulation material, polyurethane–a polymer that consists of nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. There is a slight difference. Polyisocyanurate has a higher concentration of a complex compound called methylene diphenyl diisocyanate. And, the polyol (an alcohol) comes from polyester as opposed to polyether. With a resistance value of 7.0 to 9.0 per inch, it is considered the best insulation material on the market. It is also the most costly. Polyisocyanurate is best suited for houses that are located in climates that have very cold or warm weather.

Keeping out extreme weather is the reason homes must be insulated. Using a material that resists water and air penetration helps a homeowner save money on their energy bill. Of course, cost is a huge motivator in a homeowner’s decision on what insulation material to use. There are other factors to consider such as the size of the door and properties of the material that is being used. Even though all the insulators discussed earlier are durable, they make garage doors susceptible to fire. They are composed of properties that make them flammable. This is not a concern since they are coated with a protective fire-coating.

Now that you know a bit about how garage doors are made, call All Four Seasons Garage Doors Smyrna GA at 678-981-8454 to find out how to get your new garage door repair or replacement, or click All Four Seasons Garage Doors Smyrna GA

Fratzel, Todd. Foam Board Insulation R Values. Front Steps Media, 2014. Web. 28 Dec. 2014.

Polyisocyanurate. Wikimedia Foundation, 2014. Web. 28 Dec. 2014.

Sheppard, Brodey. Types of Garage Door Insulation. n.p, n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2014.

What is Polyethylene Foam. Conjecture Corporation, 2014. Web. 28 Dec. 2014.

What is Polystyrene Foam. Conjecture Corporation, 2014. Web. 28 Dec. 2014.